Online Marketing Glossary

What’s a landing page? What does PPC stand for? What’s the difference between Organic and Paid search results? This glossary provides a handy guide to commonly used online marketing terms.

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Analytics (Web Analytics): The measurement of data and results as it relates to a Website, including the behavior of visitors, amount of traffic, conversion rates, Web server performance, user experience, and other information.



Banner Ad: An advertisement embedded on a web page usually intended to drive traffic to the advertiser’s Website.

Blog: A Web page where entries are made in journal style that often provides commentary or news on a particular subject.

Brochureware: A Website that is nothing more than an online brochure that fails to actively motivate visitors through the decision to buy.



Call to Action: The action that is requested by a marketer’s content either from an advertisement or Website offer.

Click Through Rate (CTR): The rate at which visitors “click through” from an online advertisement or offer to the destination Web page. CTR is a good indication of an advertisement’s or offer’s effectiveness.

Content: All the copy, images and graphics that are presented on a Website, advertisement or email message. Effective B2B content is compelling, engaging, useful, professional, and educating.

Content Management: The process of creating and managing content on a Website.

Content Management System: Software that enables an individual or group of individuals to easily create and manage content on a Website.

Conversion: An action that signifies a completion of a specified activity. For many sites, a user converts if they request information, buy a product, sing up for a newsletter, or download a file.

Conversion Rate: A key metric used to evaluate the effectiveness of a conversion effort, reflecting the percentage of individuals that converted.

Conversion Funnel: The series of steps that move a Web visitor towards a specified conversion event, such as a lead inquiry, an order or a newsletter signup.

Cookies: Parcels of text sent by a server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the browser each time it accesses that server. Cookies are used for authenticating, tracking, and maintaining specific information about users, such as Website preferences and the contents of their online shopping carts.

Cross-Selling: Presenting customers with an opportunity to purchase related products or services based on previous purchases or interest demonstrated.

Customer: A person who has purchased your product or service.

Customer-Focused Design: A design philosophy that focuses on creating Website designs and content that meet the needs and expectations of your customers and prospects



Domain Name: The text name, often a variation of a company name, that corresponds to a numeric IP address of a computer on the Internet. Also known as a Web Address. (e.g.,



E-Business: Any business process that is conducted via the Web, the Internet, intranets, extranets, or some combination of these.

Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce): The act of selling goods and services online via a Website or through an online auction like eBay.

Email Marketing: A form of direct marketing which uses email as a means of communicating commercial messages to a target audience.

Email Newsletter (E-Newsletter): An email marketing tactic that focuses on sending educational email content to a target audience to nurture or build relationships.



Frequency: The number of times a person has visited a Website during a specific period of time.

FTP: File Transfer Protocol is a standard method of sending files between computers over the Internet.



Geo-targeting: The process of serving of online advertisements or PPC ads to a particular geographical area or population segment.

GIF: A common graphics format that typically displays in 256 colors and has built-in compression and supports animation.



Home Page: In theory, the main page for a Website that provides visitors with an overview and links to other pages in the Website.



Information Architecture: The layout, organization, navigation and searching systems that help people manage and find information on a Website.



JPEG: An easily compressed graphics format that displays photographic as well as graphic images.



Keywords: Terms entered into the search field of a Web search engine.

Keyword Research: The art of identifying the keyword terms used most often by a target audience when performing targeted online searches.



Landing Page: A specific Web page that a visitor ultimately reaches after clicking a link or online advertisement, often showcasing content that is an extension of the link or advertisement.

Lead: A prospect who is engaged in the buying decision process that has identified himself.

Lead-generation Website: A Website focused on generating qualified leads to fill the sales funnel.

Links: Text or an image on a Web page that has been coded to take the visitor from one Web page to another or from one Website to another

Load Time: The length of time it takes for a Web page to completely open in a browser window.

Look and Feel: Aspects of a Website’s design, including elements such as colors, shapes, layout, and typefaces (the “look”), as well as the behavior of dynamic elements such as navigation, buttons, forms, and menus (the “feel”).



Marketing Analytics: The art and science of developing and utilizing interactive marketing decision models to plan, implement, and analyze marketing strategies and tactics.



Navigation: The overall structure of the links on a Website, comprising the paths available to the visitor. Well-designed navigation will always be available, intuitive and obvious to the visitor.

Nurture Relationships: Leveraging strategies and tactics aimed at building positive and long-term relationships with prospects and customers. Also referred to as ‘Relationship Building.’



Online Marketing: The use of the Internet to advertise and sell goods and services, including pay per click advertising, banner ads, e-mail marketing, interactive advertising, search engine marketing, blog marketing, and online public relations.

Opt-In: The action a person takes when he actively agrees to receive email communication.

Opt-Out: The action a person takes when he actively chooses not to receive email communication.

Organic Search Results: The list of Websites that “naturally” come up when a user searches specific keywords. Organic search results appear solely because a search engine has deemed it editorially important for them to be included.



Paid Search Results: Listings that search engines sell to online advertisers, usually through pay-per-click advertising programs. In contrast, organic listings are not sold

Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC): A subset of search engine marketing that uses sponsored search engine listings to drive targeted traffic to a Website. The advertiser bids for search terms, and the search engine ranks ads based on a competitive auction as well as other factors. The advertiser only pays when their sponsored search ad is clicked.

Permission-Based Email: The practice of only sending email messages to individuals who have agreed to receive them.

Personas: Fictitious characters that are created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic group that might use a Website or product.

Personalization: The act of tailoring a Website or email message to a particular individual based on their personal details, interests or characteristics they provide.

Privacy: The condition by which an individual keeps their lives and personal affairs out of public view. Websites and email newsletters should reassure individuals that their privacy will be respected and protected.

Prospect: A potential customer, client, or purchaser

Prototyping: The process of quickly putting together a working model (a prototype) of a Website in order to test various aspects of a design, illustrate ideas or features and gather early user feedback.



Reach: The size of the audience viewing, hearing, or interacting with a message in a given time period.

Referring Links: The Websites, search engines or directories that directed visitors to your Website.

Relationship Building: Leveraging strategies and tactics aimed at building positive and long-term relationships with prospects and customers. Also referred to as ‘Nurturing Relationship.’

Relationship Marketing: A form of marketing that emphasizes building longer term relationships with customers rather than on individual transactions. It involves understanding and reacting to a customer’s needs as they go through their life cycle. It emphasizes providing a range of products or services to existing customers as they need them.

Relevance: The idea that Web and/or email content have value and speak to the needs and desires of your target audience.



Sales Funnel: The term used to describe the process of converting leads and prospects into clients. The concept of a funnel is useful because the mental image relates to the process of having: a large group at the top (your target market); filtering down to a smaller group that become leads (someone who completes a form on your website, or someone new you’ve met); filtering down to an even smaller group that become prospects (people who are actively considering buying your products and services); filtering down to the final group that buy become and become customers.

Security: The ability of the Website to let visitors know that information is being exchanged in a secure environment

Search Engine Marketing: A set of marketing methods to increase the visibility of a website in search engine results.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): A subset of search engine marketing that focuses on improving the number and/or quality of visitors to a Website from the “natural” or “organic” search engine listings.

Site Map: A Web page that lists the pages on a Website, typically organized in hierarchical fashion. A site map helps visitors and search engine spiders find pages on the Website.

Spam: Unsolicited and unwanted email messages often including advertisements.

Spiders (Also known as Web Crawlers): Automated software program that gathers pages from the Web. Spiders are used by search engines to index pages on your Website.



Targeting: Tailoring a message to the needs of an audience.



Up-Selling: Presenting customers with an opportunity to purchase additional related products or services based on previous purchases or interest demonstrated.

Unique Visitors: A statistic describing a unit of traffic to a Website, counting each visitor only once in the time frame of the report.

Usability: A term used to denote the ease with which people interact with a Website, or other human-made object, in order to achieve a particular goal.



Value: The overall appeal and usefulness of a product or service to the prospect.

Value Proposition: A statement summarizing the value of your product, service or business that creates excitement in the prospect. A well constructed value proposition will answer the question, “Why should I buy this product or service?”

Viral Marketing: A marketing strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence.

Voice: The way in which your Website, email or advertisement copy is written, and can represent the personality of your company.



Web Analytics (Analytics): The measurement of data and results as it relates to a Website, including the behavior of visitors, amount of traffic, conversion rates, Web server performance, user experience, and other information.

Web Crawlers (Also known as Spiders): Automated software program that gathers pages from the Web. Spiders are used by search engines to index pages on your Website.

Website Traffic: The amount of data sent and received by visitors to a Website.

Wireframe: A basic visual guide used to suggest the layout and placement of fundamental design elements in the interface design of a Web page.